The word mahjar is an Arabic term referring collectively to all the lands of Arab, and especially Lebanese, migration. Australia is one of the lands of the mahjar, a fact explored eloquently in Eva Sallis’ book Mahjar.
A novel-in-stories, Mahjar intertwines stroies of migrants and their children, with stories of events in their homelands and with Arabic fables. Each story stands alone, but when considered alongside each other they create a deep awareness of Australia’s and Australians’ connections with the Middle East. It encourages understanding of the culture and struggles of this group of people who come to call Australia home.
A timely offering, in the face of Australia’s resistance to refugees and involvement in the Middle East.
Mahjar, by Eva Sallis
Allen & Unwin, 2003